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Abbasi clarifies Punjab funds

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Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi clarified his statement regarding the “embezzlement of funds” reserved for the Punjab flour scheme after facing a strong rebuttal by the interim government. Abbasi had claimed that Rs20 billion were embezzled from the federal government’s free flour distribution scheme in Punjab. However, the Punjab interim government had termed his claims as “false and fabricated” and had asked Abbasi to provide proof to back his allegations.

Abbasi stated that he did not talk about any corruption but about the system, and the Usman Buzdar-led government was the most corrupt regime in the province. He also reiterated that 25% of funds reserved for the poor by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had been embezzled. He further stated that the elections had to be conducted by the Election Commission of Pakistan and not Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Abbasi’s allegations had upset the interim government, and Punjab’s Information Minister Amir Mir issued a statement refuting Abbasi’s statement about the provincial government’s free flour distribution program, saying they had provided relief to millions of beneficiaries under the scheme. The minister added that there wasn’t even an ounce of corruption and the claims damaged their own credibility.

Mir added that the scheme was Punjab’s most successful one, ensuring the provision of free flour during the Holy month of Ramzan to approximately 30 million people. He added that the program had been jointly funded by the federal and provincial administrations.

The provincial minister lamented that the scheme was being targeted due to the PML-N’s internal differences and urged the party’s stalwart to either provide evidence to back his allegations or apologize. He also stated that the caretaker Punjab government believes in transparency and impartiality and can give an account of every penny regarding the flour scheme. Therefore, no one can accuse it of corruption.

The article highlights the conflict between former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and the interim government regarding the Punjab flour distribution funds. Abbasi had alleged embezzlement of funds, which was denied by the interim government. The article also highlights the importance of transparency and impartiality in the government’s functioning to avoid such conflicts and accusations.

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